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Subject: Very Good
Sidney Toler makes the best Charlie Chan with excellent timing and dialogue delivery. Until I was an adult, I never knew that he wasn't Chinese not that it matters; it's just a movie albeit a good one.
WINSTON SMITH3353 -
Subject: Spare us your insincere indignation
Yes, there was discrimination. There were anti-Asian laws on the books, especially in California. There was the Chinese Exclusion Act. Asain-Caucasian marriages were not even recognized until 1948 and if mixed couples were ever seen together they could have been prosecuted under the strict miscegenation laws. First prosecution for both, then deportation for the Asian. At the time this film was being made, in 1944, there were still over 110,000 Japanese Americans confined against their will in over 60 US wartime concentration camps, like Manzanar, Topaz, Gila River, Poston, Granada, Jerome and Heart Mountain, under Executive Order 9066 and related actions.
Because of these laws and widespread rascism, there was fear that hiring an Asian actor could complicate production and drive costs up. Anti-Asian rascism was so bad that there was a very realistic concern that using an Asian actor in film would hurt box office. Some very brave producers, directors, casting directors did hire Asians for Asian roles, but very few -- their jobs were on the line. Some Asians were hired, very few, like Anna May Wong and the great cinematographer James Wong Howe. These were much different times and these films are historic documentation of those times, times we should never forget and never repeat. Therefore the preservation of these films is important. There is always room for improvement, but things are much better today. The time to be offended was 80 years ago when all this was going on. So, just get over your sophomoric, insincere, impudent indignation, you little twerp. And enjoy the show like the rest of us.
Subject: No Chinese Actors in Hollywood
This is in response to the reviewer "futuristfool" (I think that's correct) who bemoans a Caucasian playing a Chinese role. This was the 1930's. Hollywood did not have a stock of Chinese actors as they do today. SIDNEY TOLER and WARNER OLAND did a fantastic job getting into this role. You need to study theatre history to actually understand what I'm talking about. Not only is there many examples of cross-race roles but gender-crossing roles as well. I own an additional 24-Charlie Chan movies on DVD. I hadn't heard of this flic or had the opportunity to watch it. THANKS for the opportunity. B&W movies from the 1930's RULE!
Subject: white playing chinese,.
Subject: Charlie Chan
Subject: Average Charlie Chan mystery
Having watched several Chan movies, I have to say that this play is as entertaining as any. If you like Charlie Chan mysteries, you will be satisfied with this one.
"Chattanooga" Brown replaces "Birmingham" Brown in this film. I prefer Mantan Moreland's Birmingham over Willie Best's Chattanooga.
I enjoyed Dick Elliott as the slimy, wheeler-dealer.
I award 3 stars for this moderately entertaining production, and an extra because this is better than many PD films here. Grading on the curve = 4 stars.
Subject: Trouble with the viewer
I can't seem to get past 42:22 watching the movie in the viewer. I"ll have to try to download it overnight.
Subject: Charlie Chan outwits the police, again.
Sidney Toler is my favorite Charlie Chan, and this movie, like most of the Charlie Chan movies has mystery and humor. Sidney Toler was born a long way from China, he was born in Missouri. Of the 20 or more Charlie Chan movies he stared in, this was one of his last.